Clarotech implements quick-response Call Centre
VoIP, PABX, Telephony
Clever application of open-source technology has enabled Achievement Awards Group, South Africa’s leading organisation dedicated to motivating employees and customers of its clients, to upgrade the capability of their specialist call centre. The best and most distinguishing attribute of the Asterisk open-source PBX is that it enables the group to react quickly to the needs of clients. Asterisk is an open-source VOIP (voice over IP) PBX, used as an alternative to traditional closed PBX systems. It is primarily used to drive telephony (voice) systems, including call centre ACD (automatic call distribution) and IVR (interactive voice response) systems. Eleanor Muller, Marketing Director of Achievement Awards Group, says: “We are engaged in all activities that can inspire and motivate employees, partners and customers of our clients, including some of the country's major companies. We required a call centre which enables us to respond quickly to requests from our clients, thereby enabling us to maintain our competitive edge.” Achievement Awards Group was founded in 1980 and delivers customised, full-service incentive and performance improvement solutions for companies in many different industries. This involves the employees, business partners and customers of the group’s many clients.
Says Mark Regensberg, Technical Manager at Achievement Awards Group: “There is little doubt that our industry demands a quick response to the needs of our clients. The other important aspect for us is that we often have a relatively short period of time to implement technically complex solutions. Making additional major investments in proprietary (and often difficult to customise) call centre systems is often not quick or cost-effective. It means we would be charging too much to our clients.” He adds: “The focus of this solution, for us, is that it is a system which we can customise and integrate with our existing call centre solution. It still gives us all the functions we needed, which are typically found only in much larger proprietary, enterprise solutions. “Working with our IT partner, Clarotech, we have achieved everything we wanted without being tied into the expense or customisation limitations that often come with a packaged system. The key driver is the functionality we have achieved with all the flexibility we need for the future. “Rather than dropping Asterisk in front of our present telephone system, we took the approach of running the systems side by side. This followed the valuable input we got from Clarotech and entailed less risk for our critical production environment. As an organisation serving major enterprises, we simply cannot afford systems deployment that involves high risk.
“The solution also allows us to run normal telephony and IP telephony, which gives us flexibility for future needs and upcoming technology. We will probably be looking at including mobile workers in the solution as out of office internet connectivity becomes faster and more easily available. “There are a number of good solutions out there and what we have achieved with Asterisk is a solid example of what can be done with software which is often overlooked at a corporate level.”
Colin Fair, Managing Director of Clarotech Consulting, explains what can be done with open-source software and how the right IT partner can get results. “I think what has differentiated Clarotech in the market is that we have been able to deploy Asterisk to meet customer needs rather than attempting to create a standard, shrink-wrap product,” he says. “The flexibility of the product and our technical skills allows us to meet just about any customer requirement. The fact that most of the thirty or so people working at Clarotech are employed in technical roles and operate within the confines of very strong, well-defined installation and support methodologies means that customers no longer need to feel as if they are at the mercy of just a handful of IT engineers or consultants. “In the case of Achievement Awards Group, our proof of concept was so successful that we could take it straight on to a production solution. This project is a great example of open-source fulfilling its promise of providing an enterprise solution with better flexibility than proprietary solutions can offer.”
Concludes Regensberg: “In keeping with our goal of being leaders using technology that delivers results for our clients, we have certainly seen the benefits of using Asterisk and look ahead to further returns in the future” Issued by Marcus Brewster Publicity Gustav Thiel Tel: (021) 424 0470 On behalf ofAchievement Awards Group
, Open Source Products